Conversation Tip #8: Engage in the surrounding world!

Immersion in literature, current events, arts stimulates conversation

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons
“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”

-Walt Disney (1901-1966) American business magnate, animator
Are your students sometimes unsure of what to talk about? Perhaps they could bring up this morning’s headlines, last week’s bestseller or Friday’s new film release. Students engaged with the surrounding world equip themselves with conversation topics automatically. After all, conversations are learning experiences–why not encourage students to enhance what they can teach others?

Keeping aware improves the possibility of connecting with someone else. For instance, when everyone at the office wants to discuss President Obama’s latest press statement, those who haven’t seen it will have less to contribute. Reading new books, visiting new art displays and seeing new films further shapes opinions. If students don’t want to engage with the surrounding world, how can they possibly want to engage with others who do?

What do your students like to do? How do they share their passions in their conversations?

Ask More. Know More. Share More.
Create Compelling Conversations.

Jessica Lu, a first-year student at the University of Chicago, interned for Chimayo Press and the Compelling Conversations blog through the summer of 2014. Over the months, she has perused ESL textbooks, analyzed newspaper articles and tested out mobile apps, seeking out ways to inspire discussion. In the fall of 2014, the Compelling Conversations blog published her top 10 tips to create compelling conversations outside of the English classroom.

Photo By Juanedc from Zaragoza, España [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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